Monday, January 02, 2012

The 2011 Recap

I've always felt that even years were luckier than odd ones, so I feel optimistic about 2012.  Twelve is a happy number, whatever the Mayans say.  2011 was not a great year and I hope the dark cloud that has been sitting over Jon and me will lift.

This started out as a contemplative post, but I started reading through all I wrote in 2011 and my contemplations have become a recap of the year.  I'm warning you, this is a me-centered post.

In February, I asked readers to help me identify the mystery machine in my basement.  In March, Brigid and I took a girls' trip to Chicago to see SAIC for ourselves. A bad bus ride inspired me to ride all of Charlottesville's bus routes and blog about them. I cooked a tongue for St. Paddy's day. Seamus lengthened his spring break by a week by getting the chicken pox.  In May, I bought a new car and wrote a very, very long post about it. In June, I had a bad day at work.  This was a special bad day because it prodded me to get serious about finding a new job.  Then  I went on a diet and tried to break up with Anthropologie.  In July, I abandoned a career that literally made me want to kill myself and started a new job that offers more money for less stress.  My new job required that I travel to Madison, Wisconsin--I spent nearly two weeks there over two trips.  Technically, I was working, but I had a great time.  No sooner was I back at work then the great central Virginia earthquake hit, which provided enough diversion to enliven a dull work day.  In October, the universe tried to prevent me from using an ATM.  In November I wrote a guide to the most infuriating parking lots in Charlottesville. In December, I made an advent calendar.

You're supposed to eat black-eyed peas for new years, which must be a Southern tradition because I never heard of it until we moved to Virginia.  I dislike black-eyed peas but I followed my friend Megan's recipe for cranberry beans and made collards and corn bread to go with.  I love a meal of beans, greens, and cornbread.  It's thrifty, it's healthy, and cooking these things makes me feel virtuous and capable.


  1. Dude: glad the beanies did you right, and thanks for the wee shout out. Love reading your fabulous writing, so more please in 2012.

  2. Eating black eyed peas for New Years sounds like a reasonable thing although wouldn't you rather have bacon?

  3. Black eyed peas taste like ashes to me. Blech. I haven't eaten them in years, which might explain the dark cloud of failure that follows me around.

    Here's hoping for a better year for everyone!

  4. I think black eyed peas are only good because of the pork fat.
    Sorry about the dark cloud. Did it have a specific starting point, or did it just start hovering out of nowhere?
    Happy 2012! I'm optimisitic as well, Mayans be damned.

  5. What the Hell are black eyed peas? I though they were some sort of pop-group.

    While we're on this subject, what on earth are grits?

    I've heard about them as part of "Southern Cuisine" but to a poor Brit, Grit is a kind of small stoney aggregate scattered on top of tar.

  6. TSB, black-eyed peas are a dried bean. They're a tan color with a black spot, so they look like eyes. Grits are a cereal made from cornmeal, like an unholy alliance between polenta and cream of wheat. Since I was raised in New York, I never eat them or serve them, but people say they're good.

  7. Black eye peas are a southern thing. As for grits, the only way to eat them with with lots of cheese.

  8. Thank you for that clarification ladies. I'm quite keen on all forms of beans, but the grits sound just too strange.

    Ever tried Haggis?